Varsity wrestling brings luck to Vegas
The Greenwave varsity wrestling team is putting itself to the test in a Division 1 meet in Las Vegas this weekend at the Arbor View tournament, and head coach Trevor de Braga is feeling good about coming home with some placements.
“I think the big thing with us is we’re at practice and everybody’s drilling hard and everybody’s doing things correctly but they’re not going live speed,” de Braga said. “So normally whoever is doing the move isn’t getting the full benefit out of whatever we’re drilling. But now when they get a match they’re used to going full speed because of practice, so that was a big thing for us in practice was getting to live speed and pushing the kids to perform in a real match in practice so that when my kids hit the mats they’re not clueless.”
The Wave came away from hosting the Earl Wilkens/Stockman’s invitational with four wins out of five matches, contributing to de Braga’s faith in his wrestlers.
In a previous interview de Braga said Arbor View High School’s varsity team was one of the big teams to watch, though Fallon hasn’t wrestled them in the three seasons he has been coaching.
“I know the coach though,” he said, “since he was around back in 2008 when I was a student and an athlete. They’re well coached, so every kid we’re going to go against is going to be a tough battle, guaranteed. At state they always have a few tough kids winning titles and stepping on the podium so no match is going to be a given and I’m looking forward to the competition against those guys.”
“If you want to be the best, you’re got to wrestle the best,” de Braga said. “They’re among the best in the whole Division 1 from their region.”
Today is a duel tournament, de Braga explained, meaning like the Earl Wilkens/Stockman’s invitational, the Wave will go against a full team for a duel four to five times and on Saturday the teams will be seeded based on how they did, with the top eight wrestlers from each weight competing for medals and commendations.
Due to wrestlers both recovering from and sitting out from injuries, de Braga knows he won’t be going to Vegas with a full varsity lineup of 14 but with 11 instead. Nonetheless, de Braga said he has no doubt his wrestlers can come home with some medals since the varsity grapplers he’s bringing still have experience from tougher matches.
One of the injured wrestlers from the Wave is Talon Amezquita, a sophomore competing at 125 pounds who dislocated his shoulder in the Reno duel.
“(Amezquita) is one of our hard-working guys,” de Braga said, “and he’s been trying to get back slowly and condition as well, so we’re trying not to drill him so much with live wrestling and give that shoulder some recovery time without putting too much pressure on it.”
Also sitting out the Arbor View tournament is Sean McCormick, who has been battling mixed back, side and muscle issues as de Braga said.
“McCormick has been trying to get back in slowly,” de Braga said. “One little tweek can really hurt him bad out of the blue during practice. He’s probably going to be sitting out this week since he re-hurt himself at practice, so we’re going to help him along instead of rushing him to recover this week.”
As a result of injuries, as well as some students on the Wave facing ineligibility issues due to grades, de Braga said he is having trouble filling at 120.
“We have some really hard working students in the varsity lineup,” he said.“So the big challenge for them is going to be transitioning that hard work into the classroom. They can still come to the practices and keep working hard and drilling for when the time comes, and even still come to the tournaments. But for now we just need our other hard working guys to fill in, and I have no doubt they can do that.
One of the wrestlers on the Wave who will be returning to help fill in is sophomore Matt Goings (170), the younger brother of varsity veteran Sam Goings, who injured his ribs in the first week of practice.
“Matt finally came back and is rehabilitated, conditioned and lsowly getting back onto the mat,” de Braga said. “We’re definitely looking for big things out of him this weekend.”